Coffee Anyone? (22)

Post 22 in the series. I’ve been describing the design and construction of a joined hardwood coffee table with a glass top. Previous posts are to be found in the blog archive to the right side of the page.

Lat post, I finished off the assembly and then showed a picture of the turned leveler feet. These were the last pieces to make for the table and were largely made on a wood lathe. Once they were shaped, and each one is slightly different due to the way they were made, I fitted a short piece of threaded rod to the leveler:

Previously I had fit T-nuts to the counter-bore at the bottom of the table legs. The leveler feet go straight in and screw down:


The leveler feet allow for about 1/4″ of adjustment at each corner, which should be plenty for the coffee table given its relatively petite footprint.

During the design phase of the project, I had gone back and forth on whether or not to fit these small pads to the bottom of the legs. They are a feature I like on many piece of Ming furniture, and I drew several iterations. In the end, after a bit of humming and hawing, I chose to go with the feet, especially since they allowed for the leveling function. Now that they are in though, I am surprised just how much visual effect they add to the piece as a whole. They really make the bottom of the legs with their little ‘stirrups’ stand out and give the piece more of a light feel. I’m really glad I went with the leveler feet and it goes to show that 3D drawing cannot convey 100% of how a piece will look when constructed and placed in front of you.

With the construction phase at a close, I did another few rounds of finishing work, culminating in a steel wool rubbing, and a couple of coats of wax.Then I fitted the glass, which I then sealed at the edge of the frame with a bead of clear silicone. I think the client chose wisely in opting for a grey glass, as it goes very well with the wenge shelf panel. Here are some unofficial ‘studio’ photos of the piece, with delivery slated for tomorrow:

I hope you’ll agree that the tiny leveler feet add more to the piece than one might have suspected.

Here’s a shot from the design phase:

And the completed piece for comparison:

A closer in look at a corner of the table:

A pic from the early design phase, with legs more radially curved, without feet detailing, and a thinner shelf:

The later drawing:

And the completed piece:

That draws to a close the build of Client L’s coffee table. I hope readers have had an enjoyable time following along.

I’ll be getting some professional photography done soon and will post up the pics on my other blog at a later date.

Thanks for coming by the Carpentry Way. Comments always welcome.

9 Replies to “Coffee Anyone? (22)”

  1. All the more a treasure because we have been shown its composition.

    Thoroughly enjoyable, thanks for sharing, Chris.

  2. Roland, Simon, Gordon,

    it was my pleasure to read your comments. Thank you! The client has enjoyed the pictures of the build as well, and I'm sure equally appreciates your kind words.


  3. Chris, Just simply beautiful! I'm awed by your talent and execution of every minute detail. The whole process from conception to realization has been a thoroughly rewarding and learning experience for me. I look forward to this piece of art coming to its new home. It is indeed 'alive' and will need a name! Thank you so much.
    “The client”

  4. What Lisette said.. and I agree with your approval of the grey glass.. a fortuitous outcome.. Congratulations to you and 'the client'..

  5. Lisette,

    very pleased to read your comment. I am delighted to have been able to share the process of design and build with you and the other readers of the blog. Interested to see what name you come up with…


    thanks for that!


  6. It would be interesting to see the table within the context of the room within which it is being used, if the opportunity to show such presents itself.

    Thanks for the story about the work.

  7. Djy,

    I don't have any such photos, though the room does have a large multi-panel Chinese screen on one wall. There's also a piano and some discussion has been entered into regarding a new piano bench, which would probably have some tie ins to the coffee table.


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